RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, MICHELLE ITZKOWITZ
INSTANT POT WILD RICE SOUP WITH MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter or ghee)
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (cremini, button, portobellos)
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 3–4 cups carrots, chopped large
- 3–4 cups celery, chopped
- 4 cups veggie broth (or 4 cups water plus 2–3 teaspoons veggie bouillon)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme ( or 1 teaspoon dry thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- pinch cayenne, optional
- 1/8–1/4 teaspoon turmeric, for a golden color.
- 1/2 cup sour cream (or sub coconut milk, or cashew cream-see notes)
- 4 cups baby spinach, chopped (optional)
- Optional Garnishes: chopped flat leaf parsley and parmesan or try Gremolata or Arugula Pesto
- Set Instant Pot to Saute Function and add the oil and onions and mushrooms, stirring for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, then cook a couple more minutes until the liquid cooks off, and mushrooms begin to brown.
- Add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, chop the carrots and celery. When the onions and mushrooms soften add the rice and saute for one minute.
- At this point, you could deglaze with white wine, scraping up any browned bits if the pan seems dry, (or skip it), and then cook this off for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, veggie broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper, cayenne and turmeric. Give a good stir, again, scraping up any browned bits.
- Set Instant Pot to High for 24 minutes. Naturally release, for 10 minutes, then manually release.
- Stir in the sour cream (or coconut milk or cashew cream), and taste, adjusting for salt and pepper.
- ***If going the vegan route– keep in mind, sour cream adds a nice tanginess- which you can replicate by adding a few drops of lemon juice or AC vinegar to the soup to brighten it up.
- Stir in the fresh chopped spinach just before serving.
- Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkling of fresh Italian parsley, parmesan or other optional garnishes.
Cashew cream: Blend 1/2 cup soaked cashews with 1/2 cup water until smooth and creamy. (If no time to soak, simmer cashews in boiling water 10-15 minutes before straining and blending.) You may not need all the Cashew cream in the soup – so add incrementally to taste. Add a few drops lemon juice or AC vinegar.
Stovetop Version: In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, saute onions and garlic until golden. Add mushrooms, release their liquid and begin to caramelize. This will take a little time. Add the rice and saute for one minute. Add the wine if using and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining ingredients- carrots, celery, veggie broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and turmeric. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently on low heat until the rice is tender about 35-45 minutes. Stir in the sour cream or vegan alternative. Taste, adjust salt and pepper to taste.
If your soup lacks depth or flavor- it is most likely your veggie stock-try adding another bouillon cube, more salt or even a little miso paste.